Doctor Who: Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor

This season of Doctor Who will the first time I will be seeing episodes as they air, instead of bingeing on series after series of new and classic Who.

Let me tell you, I’m one of those fans that don’t necessarily have a problem with Matt Smith. I enjoy re-watching his episodes. They are fun and pure escapism for me. It’s only when you think about it with a bit of seriousness when you realize how silly some of the stories actually were. I was ready for the next regeneration. Although, I know I will miss the bow-tie wearing 11th.

Peter Capaldi reminds me of House, a character so vastly different from the playful Eleventh Doctor, they could be night and day. Watching Capaldi deliver lines, I can still imagine how 11th would say it and the context definitely changes. Am I loving Capaldi as the Doctor then?

After this third episode, The Robots of Sherwood, I can definitely say, I’m warming up to the new doctor. I do have a major concern though. In the first and second episode, I could hardly understand some of what he’s saying. The fast delivery combined with the Scottish accent is probably what’s throwing me off. I could still follow the story but some of the punchlines were lost on me. ‘Tis the sad fate of a non-native English speaker, I suppose.

So how do I like the new episodes? Not my favorites but I’m still hoping for more interesting stories to come.

Deep Breath is trying to recapture some of the magic from Don’t Blink, obviously, but it only partially succeeded. Impressive entrance with the spat TARDIS, though.

Into the Dalek, I felt, was just a rehash of previous episodes and did not interest me much. (I’m indifferent about Daleks. Sorry!) I am intrigued by Danny Pink though and what sort of conflict he will carry with him to the TARDIS.

So far, Robots of Sherwood is the one I enjoyed the most. I love the comedy and the very swashbuckle-y scenes. And did anyone notice where the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver went? Is he getting a new one?

As with any Steven Moffat Doctor Who, there’s a story arc that ties all the episodes in the series. The Promised Land and Missy. Call me intrigued and hooked. I know a lot of fans have theories but I refuse to speculate and be spoiled!

 

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Can’t have The Doctor? Take Diego Buñuel instead

Okay, so no matter how desperate a die-hard female Whovian is, The Doctor is never ever going to ask you to be his companion. For the simple fact that the guy is a fictional character.

So if we can’t have The Doctor, who’s the next best substitute? Ladies, may I nominate the charming, tall, handsome, and moled NatGeo host of Don’t Tell my Mother… Diego Buñuel!

Let me count the ways why he reminds me of The Doctor so much:

  • He travels. (well, duh!)
  • He’s not afraid of dangerous places (hence the title of his show)
  • He charms the pants out of everyone he meets (that smile! *dies*)
  • He’s multilingual (no need for a Tardis translation thinggy)
  • He’s multiracial (almost as good as an alien with 2 hearts)
  • He’s very comfortable around people I would run from if I met them in a dark alley. ( I mean people with nasty looking guns and looks like they’d happily stick an axe in your head when you turn your back)
  • He’s open minded and democratic. (If World War 3 ever happens, I’d want him for a mediator in the negotiating table.)

As far as I know, he’s never had a travelling companion before. But when that position opens up, well…

Post Doctor Who: Matt Smith’s The Womb and David Tennant’s Fright Night

Since it’s going to be months before we get to see another installment of Peter Capaldi’s Doctor Who Season 8, I have been scouring the Internet for some of the previous doctors’ works. I’ve watched Broadchurch and I loved David Tennant in it, of course. And I’ve seen Matt Smith in one episode of Secret Diary of a Call Girl, where the 11th doctor gets to sleep with Rose (I was interpreting it differently as I watched). However, I’ve yet to watch a movie with the doctors in it. (Harry Potter doesn’t count as I was not aware of David at the time).

The Womb

Matt mentioned The Womb in an interview with Chris Hardwick of the Nerdist Podcast(Subscribe to this podcast. Trust me, you won’t regret it!). Former Bondgirl, Eva Green is apparently in it. I watched the trailer and I remembered I’ve watched the trailer before and I was interested in seeing the movie but again, I was not aware of Matt Smith. I just thought the premise of the story was interesting.

While the movie does have a curious tale to tell, the pace, execution, and eek-factor was just way off. In other releases, the film was know as “Clone”, which I think is deceptively presenting itself as more science-fiction genre than it really was. The “art” film is basically, a love story between Eva Green and Matt Smith’s character, Rebecca and Tommy, respectively.

I hope pedos don’t watch this film…

Rebecca and Tommy were childhood sweethearts, living in a beautiful beach somewhere in England. But then, Rebecca had to go to Japan for her studies while Tommy remained. When Rebecca returned as a young lady, with a science degree and everything, she sought Tommy out. They continued their romantic relationship like nothing happened (Sorry Osha from Game of Thrones). Unfortunately for Rebecca, they would only have a few days(?) together before Tommy get’s hit by a super speeding truck.

Rebecca’s brilliant plan is to clone her boyfriend. She gets pregnant using Tommy’s DNA, raise the version 2 Tommy as her own son and sleep with him when he’s all grown up(Sorry Gilly of Game of Thrones). And I thought Tommy 1.0’s plan to release a million cockroaches in a cloning facility was bonkers(Did I mention, he was a militant environmentalist?).

Although this film tries to be minimalist with little dialogue and overly long camera shots, I think it failed. I mean, I’ve watched the French movie, Amour, and was riveted so I know I can stand a slow-paced film.

I do have problems with the dialogue because it didn’t sound natural. Young Tommy’s lines, for example, sounded like it could’ve come from an artsy fartsy pretentious novel.

Why so slooooow????

The snail, the long minimal intro, Eva Green’s longing look at the sea, the constant sleeping shots, hit our head with all the minimalism, why don’t you.

I love Matt Smith as the doctor but I don’t know if I saw another character in this movie. The mannerisms, his voice, cadence, and movements all screamed – The Doctor – that I can’t help but laugh at his line, “It seemed bigger in my mind.”

The SCENE – you can argue that it’s technically not incest but still…eeeww… I have enough of that from Game of Thrones. Thank you very much!

I feel that the movie could have worked because of the very interesting premise. It’s too bad, it was so conscious about it being an “art film” that it fails to tell the story properly.

Fright Night

This movie has been shown a couple of times on cable TV but I didn’t see the point of seeing it as I heard some pretty bad reviews. You know what? It’s not as awful as I thought!

That goes to show what having low expectations can do to your perception.

It’s a fun enough movie for people who enjoy horror movies (like me). I watched it while I was organizing my stuff so I was watching it without my 100% attention and the movie was enjoyable to me.

Of course, I paid close attention not to the star of the show, Collin Farrell, but the skinny and lanky looking British dude, aka the 10th Doctor – David Tennant.

He plays Peter Vincent, a Chris Angel-like alcoholic magician who happens to know a thing or two about the occult including the existence of vampires. He plays the part brilliantly and his comedic timing is impeccable.  He’s so saucy! There are ridiculous parts yes, but the movie, I feel doesn’t take itself too seriously so I don’t.

—–

I don’t know if I’m biased because David Tennant is my doctor, but Matt Smith, I’ll still be watching the next Terminator just to see you!

 

 

Doctor Who Series 5, 6, & 7: How do you get over The Doctor?

I’m trying for the last couple of weeks to put The Doctor behind me. I seem to be failing… A lot. I mean I’ve got work to do, other stuff to write, books to read, and a life to live. Seriously, someone tell me how to move on! I keep googling news about the new series, I keep re-watching episodes. Even if I’m not sure about the new older-looking doctor, I can’t help but get into debates about the what would happen in the next series. I congratulate myself if I get through the whole day without inserting Doctor Who into conversations with friends.

Series 5 & 6: 11th Doctor and The Ponds

Before I watched Moffat’s era of Doctor Who, Matt Smith looked kind of weird to me. I supposed Benedict Cumberbatch did too. This is, I think, what they had in common. They are not the typical sexy and attractive guy. Both are tall, yes, but lanky and had weird long faces. That’s before they open their mouths and start getting into character, of course. Brainy is the new sexy, indeed!

Personally, I’ve always been attracted to brains before the looks. Even as a kid. I’ve fallen in love with fictional characters and never real people. I think that’s because they never measure up to the fantasy. And let me tell you, I’ve fallen in love all over again with Matt Smith’s Doctor. And then he’s gone… again…sigh.

I’m starting to get it. Recognizing the Doctor as one character with a different face in every new regeneration. The major differences and nuances in personality. This doctor is more child-like, a little lot more immature compared to the tenth doctor (who’s more emo, now that I think about it).

Matt Smith, in the beginning, was not as spectacular as what he became in the 7th series. In the 5th series, he’s still trying to grasp the role. Understandable, of course, but I still missed Tenant, then. But then, he started owning the doctor and suddenly, there he was. The Doctor, at last.

In Moffat’s Doctor Who, I felt the production’s higher budget – with the new sets, and better effects. There’s a feeling of lightness there, compared to Russel T. Davies’ era.

The Model Companion

And may I just say, I envied Amy Pond’s legs and hair! I loved the fact that the Doctor met Amy as a little girl before an adult. Loved that first episode! The touch of Sherlock is a bit disconcerting though. I see this Doctor as very eerily similar to Sherlock making deductions. (not surprising of course, as they have the same executive producer/writer).

I love the relationship between Rory and Amy. I thought it was so believable and it’s very refreshing not to see the Doctor playing the Romeo to the companion but rather like the doting fairy godmother. Oh I’m forgetting River Song… But that’s different. She’s his wife!

River Song’s Melody

As someone who comes from a family with couples with large age discrepancies, I was not bothered by the fact that Matt Smith is actually 26 and Alex Kingston’s 40-ish. I though their relationship was lovely, beautiful, and poignant. I’ve read Audrey Niffeneger’s Time Traveler’s Wife and I saw where Moffat got the idea and inspiration from.

There were a lot of plot holes still, but your suspension of disbelief just have to tolerate it all when watching Doctor Who.  Anyway, I don’t watch this series for the sci fi, anyway but the characters.

My favorite episodes: The Lodger, Vincent Van Gogh episode, A Good Man Goes to War, and Wedding of River Song (of course, though I still don’t get why the doctor need to marry River? and does that marriage even count?)

Series 7: 11th Doctor and The Ponds, and Clara Oswald

So apparently, there are 2 parts to this series. First part are still with the Ponds, while the second is the proper episodes with the new companion, Clara. Loved, Asylum of the Daleks and though I normally hate overly perky people, I love geniuses and I thought that Oswin Oswald was gonna make onehelluva companion. (spoiler: she dies!)

I don’t get the plot holes in Angels in Manhattan though – when we say goodbye to Amy and Rory. If this weren’t a TV show, in a more “realistic” Who-niverse, I’m sure The Doctor could’ve saved the Ponds with a wave of his magical sonic screw driver. I thought the writer could’ve made something more poignant than that scene.

As for Clara, I loved her Victorian saucy version as well. She’s properly coquettish which I suspect annoys some of the more hardcore fans but makes us, shippers, positively gleeful.

The real Clara or the original copy in the contemporary world has been described as a more tame and normal version of the other two. I see what they mean. I really would’ve liked the more extreme versions but what can I say.

I feel that we barely know her but that would change, of course, with the next series with Capaldi. I would’ve liked to see Clara spend a bit more time with River Song but I suspect, we’ll also see those two interact more in the coming episodes.

As for the explanation of why Clara keeps on appearing and dying in different times, I’m satisfied with that. Jumping on the Doctor’s time stream…Sure, why not? It’s interesting to see her in the classic eras. Almost made me want to watch the 60s-80s episodes. (I bet my co-worker, I’d watch them only if he can procure all the episodes himself.)

Matt Smith’s speech in the Christmas special was heartbreaking and perfect. This is how a Doctor should say goodbye. Although I love Tenant’s Doctor with all my one heart, the overly long goodbye took away some of the poignancy.

So what’s next, Peter Capaldi?

My prediction is that we haven’t seen the last of River Song. I read news that Matt Smith wants to keep the character with the 11th but fat chance, as Moffat have other plans, apparently.  It would be interesting to see an older looking doctor with the comparatively younger looking River.

So shipping Clara and the Doctor would come to an end, me thinks. I know Clara said she fancies the Doctor in the Christmas episode but that would be an overly crowded Tardis with River Song in the mix.

Matt Smith’s Doctor did a lot of jumping, running, and other physical stunts. Would Capaldi be up to this very physically demanding role? Or would he be a more intellectual and subdued Doctor?

I really can’t wait for Series 8. In the meantime, I’ll continue converting everyone to Who-vism. They really don’t know what they’ve been missing ;)

Doctor Who Series 3 & 4: Rebound Girl and Sassy Girl

When Matt Smith auditioned for the role of Watson is Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ version of Sherlock, he was turned down because he fits better as Sherlock rather than the companion…I mean, Watson. It doesn’t take an extraordinarily perceptive person to see the similarities between The Doctor and Sherlock. While one describes himself as simply clever, the other is a high-functioning sociopath. Let’s see what else? Both are skinny, tall, and white with a penchant for wearing the same clothes (and coats) everyday. They both have their preferred gadgets: a sonic screw driver, the other, his mobile.

What sets them apart, other than all that time-travel thing and the general ‘arsehole’ personality, is their choice of companions. While Sherlock prefers a monogamous relationship with his Dr. Watson, The Doctor prefers to line them up and go through each one until he leaves them heartbroken one by one. Okay, maybe I was judging too harshly… I have not seen every Doctor Who episode yet!

Still… Doctor? 3 little words! Oh come on! Rose Tyler, I…  yes?… yes? The fandom is left as frustrated as Martha Jones.

Series  3: Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones

Oh, Martha! I feel your pain! I loved Martha Jones as the next companion after Rose and the story was riveting and heartbreaking as well in the finale of the 3rd Series. There were glaring differences between Martha and Rose (aside from the obvious). While Rose was just a naive teenager, Martha was already 23 years old working on her medical degree. Martha seems smart because she’s highly educated but that doesn’t mean Rose was not just as smart. Rose’s education came from experience and instinct rather than academic.

Before the 2005 reboot, I was unfamiliar with the series so I wasn’t exactly sure how the whole companion thing works. I thought the doctor would just fall in love over and over again with his companions. I’m glad Rose was a bit more special because even if he didn’t say it, we all knew the doctor loved her.

I applaud how Martha decided to give up on her unrequited feelings for the Doctor and go for the right decision which is to stay with her family and resume her life. This level of maturity have yet to be achieved by Rose as she values her feelings more than what her mind is telling her.

Series 4: Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble

Donna Noble is freaking hilarious. Just what the Doctor needed after feeling a bit guilty for breaking Martha’s heart. I’ve watched a few clips of Catherine Tate’s Lauren Cooper sketches and I laughed so hard the neighbors probably think I’m crazy. Take a look at this classic sketch with the Doctor, himself.

Many fans love Donna Noble and for good reason. Although they are strictly just friends, they have amazing’s chemistry that’s a breathe of fresh air from the previous companions’ longing looks at the doctor.

She’s the perfect representation of an everyday woman. I know I can relate to her, feeling like your life is headed nowhere and almost believing the people’s negative opinion of you that you begin to doubt yourself and the choices you make.

In the end though, Donna mattered so much she can’t even to begin to imagine how much. It’s just sad and tragic to see that the doctor had to erase any traces of memory that included him and their adventures together.

What I feel about Rose and the Duplicate Doctor

One part of me actually wanted the Series 2 finale to be the final time we see Rose Tyler but shipper part of me is glad to see her have a happy ending although he’s just a duplicate semi-human doctor. If only we could’ve heard what the Doctor whispered. I know… everyone knows what it is, but still. You never thought those 3 simple words could be as powerful as it is even on just a TV show.

Dr. Who, Series 1 and 2: I Volunteer as Companion!

I stayed away from watching Dr. Who for the longest time for such stupid reasons like “I’m really not into sci-fi, I’m more of a fantasy kind of nerd”… (Although my fave tv series included: The X-Files, Star-Trek (TNG), and Sea Quest (admittedly because of Lucas – Jonathan Brandis!)), “I might not get it, I’m intimidated!” (although I’m currently watching Monty Python’s Flying Circus – esoteric humor galore), and “I so don’t want to be labeled a hipster.” (This will never apply to me as hipsters will never… ever… ever… admit to reading and liking the Twilight Series un-ironically.)

Series 1: Ninth Doctor with Rose Tyler

I started with the reboot in 2005 starring Christopher Eccleston, as the doctor and Billie Piper as Rose, the companion. I was kindda hoping I wouldn’t like it since there are 8 series or seasons in all with 13 episodes each. 8 series x 13 episodes x 45 mins divided by 60 equals 78 hours of my life devoted to this. Although I’ve done marathons of TV shows before (South Park, Alias, 24, CSI, etc.), that was before I had a regular job with corporate bosses. (This is why I keep away from never-ending animes.)

Unfortunately or fortunately (depending on your point of view), I discovered a new drug in the form of The Doctor, flying on a silly blue police box with a slightly masochistic blonde “companion”. I was hooked, plot holes, “cost-effective” effects, and all.

What I Liked

Series 1 with the Ninth Doctor was the perfect place to start for a non-fan of Dr. Who. You don’t have to go through the 1960s ones. I’m not that hard-core! You don’t get lost in the universe because they explain all you need to know – the story of the Time Lords, the regeneration, the concept of the companion, how the Tardis generally works, and the arch enemy with a plunger for arms – Daleks (although, why you need a sink plunger in space is bonkers to me!).

I thought that the series will be all about the sci-fi side of things but the core is really about the characters and how they develop through their experiences and adventures.

I felt that the relationship between Rose and the Doctor began as a friendship and somewhat of a paternal love. Since Rose Tyler lost her dad, she bonded quickly with the relatively older version of the Doctor.

Is the Rose character believable as a girl willing to leave her planet and family to travel with a total stranger through time and space? If you’re 19 and full of wanderlust, the answer is yes! I may not be a Rose Tyler but I’ve met these girls before. I totally understand and wish I had the same drive when I was a teenager. Christopher Eccleston is a bit more subdued compared to the next doctor but he really does give the vibe that everything is going to be okay in the end because he’s dependable and intelligent.

What I Didn’t Like

What my feminist side disagreed with is the constant need to protect Rose when things get a bit too scary. It seems she has to prove herself time and time again that she’s capable of taking care of herself. But this is really just a minor issue.

The major ones are the effects and a few plot holes. It seems the budget was a bit tight considering this was 2005, technology was so advanced, George Lucas just can’t stop ruining his franchise with Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith. As for plot holes, I just don’t buy the plausible science of it sometimes. It seems so convenient that all their travels don’t OFTEN cause a rift in the time-space continuum, only when the plot calls for it to be. In the end though, it doesn’t really matter. What matters most are the characters and their motivations.

Series 2: Tenth Doctor with Rose Tyler

The Doctor and Rose kiss in the final episode of Series 1 but the blossoming relationship briefly hit a snag as it was revealed that the Doctor was dying and he needed to regenerate in order to survive. So goodbye Christopher Eccleston and hello David Tennant!

This younger version of the doctor looks a bit more appropriate as a love interest to Rose Tyler. they don’t go too far with that aspect though. It reminds of the earlier seasons of the X-files. In an interview, Gillian Anderson said that the fact that Mulder and Scully barely acknowledges the attraction makes each hug and show of concern that much sweeter. I think the same is true for The Doctor and Rose Tyler. Believe me, I was crying my eyes out at the end of the finale.

I may have a crush on David Tennant now and I’m glad he’s on 2 more series! I will miss Rose Tyler and I hope the next companion would be lovely as well.  Will the doctor mourn Rose for awhile? Or like a jackass, be getting another companion at the  first opportunity and concentrate all his devilish charm on her until she’s looking all puppy-eyed in love with him? Hmp!

I’ve noticed that they had better effects for this season. The writing and the witty dialogue was still solid but I can’t wait for the Steven Moffat 2010 series!